Long trip to Oban

27 02 2006

Realized somewhere as I was walking between Glasgow Central and Queen St. two things:

1. I will not be able to see any of this train trip in daylight either way
2. That I am visiting a tourist town in the off-season.
I am saddened by the first point, and hopeful that the second will turn out OK.

The transfer itself was fine – up two block then over. Got a couple nice pictures even. I am glad I brought my pocket camera. Very useful for those quick snaps.

Glasgow Queen Street is a bit of a zoo – set up for commuters with gates that you slip your card through… which of course is why I have the little cards departing Glasgow Queen Street. Before boarding I had time for a quick bit of chips and a pint at the commuter pub. Fries sucked, beer was refreshing, and the staff friendly. Good start!

The train I was on was 2 sets of 2 car DMU cars. The first set (the one I was in) goes to Oban, the second splits off half way up to go farther north. The train was the most utilitarian so far – very bus like, with a naked strip of fluorescent tube down the middle of the car for light. It is payday for ScotRail employees today and was able to listen in on a spirited discussion on pay hours and rates from staff riding along.

After we left the commuter territory North West of Glasgow the track became single, with some sort of token occupancy system in place. As well, for the first time more than mere yards, I was on jointed rail. For most the rest of the journey we were on jointed rail. It was smooth, but still clickety-clack. A freight train passed us at a station, and we met the opposite passenger DMU set. How the signaling works makes me want to buy a book on it. Being Britain, there is one for the layperson available at WH Smith. Maybe…

Arrived on time around 9:30pm. Bigger than I thought. Warmer here than anywhere so far on my trip. I would guess +7 or 8 at least. Used my direction finding powers to guess which road to take. Found the right one, though had 2 people ignore my queries for directions, but at a fork in the road a kind soul pointed me in the correct direction.

In my room now a bit awake but wanting to call it a night. Very nice room – bigger than I would have had, with ensuite.

Off to bed now – passed the distillery on the way here, as well as the tourist stop. Both places to hit after breakfast.





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